Mapping membrane potential transients in crayfish (Procambarus clarkii) optic lobe neuropils with voltage-sensitive dyes

Sergey Yagodin, Carlos Collin, Daniel L. Alkon, Norman F. Sheppard, David B. Sattelle

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    Voltage-sensitive dyes NK 2761 and RH 155 were employed (in conjunction with a 12 x 12 photodiode array) to study membrane potential transients in optic lobe neuropils in the eye stalk of the crayfish Procambarus clarkii. By this means we investigated a pathway linking deutocerebral projection neurons, via hemiellipsoid body local interneurons, to an unidentified target (most likely neurons processing visual information) in the medulla terminalis. Rapid (10- to 20-ms duration), transient changes in absorption with the characteristics of action potentials were recorded from the optic nerve and the region occupied by deutocerebral projection neurons after stimulation of the olfactory globular tract in the optic nerve and were blocked by 1 μM tetrodotoxin. Action potentials appeared to propagate to the glomerular layer of the hemiellipsoid body where synaptic responses were recorded from a restricted region of the hemiellipsoid body occupied by dendrites of hemiellipsoid body neurons. Action potentials were also recorded from processes of hemiellipsoid body neurons located in the medulla terminalis. Synaptic responses in the hemiellipsoid body and medulla terminalis were eliminated by addition to the saline of 500 μM Cd2+ or 20 mM Co2+, whereas the action potential attributed to branches of deutocerebral projection neurons in the hemiellipsoid body remained unaffected. Action potentials of hemiellipsoid body neurons in the medulla terminalis evoked postsynaptic potentials (50- to 200-ms duration) with an unidentified target in the medulla terminalis. Transient absorption signals were not detected in either the internal or external medulla nor were they recorded from other parts of the optic lobes in response to electrical stimulation of axons of the deutocerebral projection neurons. Functional maps of optical activity, together with electrophysiological and pharmacological findings, suggest that γ-aminobutyric acid affects synaptic transmission in glomeruli of the hemiellipsoid body. Synapses of the olfactory pathway located in the medulla terminalis may act as a 'filter,' modifying visual information processing during olfactory stimulation.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)334-344
    Number of pages10
    JournalJournal of Neurophysiology
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 1999


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